Lady Eagles seal 14-0 sweep
MANILA, Philippines—Alyssa Valdez starred as always, but rookie Jhoana Maraguinot delivered the hits that mattered as Ateneo outlasted rival La Salle, 25-20, 21-25, 25-23, 27-25, Wednesday to complete a 14-0 sweep of the eliminations and clinch an outright championship berth in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at Mall of Asia Arena.
Valdez exploded for 29 points built on 24 attacks, three service aces and two blocks to power the defending champions straight to the Finals toting a thrice-to-beat bonus.
Maraguinot unloaded 10 points, including the last two kills that sewed up the match for the Lady Eagles after the Lady Spikers survived match point thrice to tie the fourth set at 25.
The Lady Spikers wrapped up their elimination run at second place with a 12-2 card, but will head into the stepladder semifinals with a twice-to-beat advantage.
Earlier, National University clinched a Final Four berth after trouncing Adamson with a 25-18, 22-25, 26-24, 25-19 decision.
Jaja Santiago erupted for 25 points, including 18 kills and half of the team’s 12 blocks, as the Lady Bulldogs put a lock on third spot with a 7-6 record.
Far Eastern University kept its own semifinal bid alive after downing University of the Philippines, also in four sets, 19-25, 25-15, 25-19, 25-19.
FEU, UP, Adamson and University of Santo Tomas, all tied at 5-8, will fight for the last semifinal slot in the final two playdates of the elimination round this weekend.
In men’s action, Ateneo (11-2) and University of Santo Tomas (10-3) stayed in the hunt for the twice-to-beat semifinal bonus after disposing of separate foes.
The Blue Eagles tripped the Archers, 25-17, 27-25, 25-21, while the Tigers carved out a 25-12, 28-26, 25-21 triumph over the Maroons.
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